In 2015, Korg announced that they would be re-issuing one of ARP Instruments’ most famous synthesizers, the Odyssey. Reissued in close collaboration with members of the original ARP team, Korg’s Odyssey was met with excitement throughout the synth world. Five years later, Korg has announced a reissue of another iconic ARP synth: the 2600.
“With analog enjoying such a massive resurgence, it is truly an amazing time to be a musician. Korg is honored to be a continual part of that, and even more so to be re-releasing such an iconic, and historically important synthesizer,” said James Sajeva, Director of Music Technology Brands at Korg USA.
Founded in 1969 by Alan R. Pearlman and David Friend, ARP Instruments quickly emerged as a major player in the synth industry. Although only in business through 1981, ARP put out a number of now legendary instruments, including, among others, the Odyssey and the 2600. Highly-regarded for their sound and tuning stability ARP’s synths were quite commercially successful.
Originally manufactured from 1971 through 1980, the flagship ARP 2600 was a semi-modular subtractive synthesizer. Used by some of the top musicians and composers of the day, it had an instantly recognizable look and sound. Its application even went outside of the music world, as it was famously used to create the voice and personality of one of the most recognizable characters in sci-fi history.
While the modular synths of the day required extensive patching to make a sound, the semi-modular design of the 2600 meant that the basic signal path was already patched internally. Right out of the box, the 2600 delivered a massive sound, thanks to its 3 VCO design. Combined with a clearly laid out panel and extensive patching options, it appealed to players of all levels.
Working closely with David Friend and other members of the original ARP team, Korg committed the same level of care and respect to this project as with the Odyssey. Given the many revisions to the 2600 throughout its original manufacturing, Korg’s engineers (the same group responsible for their modern analog synths) went to the original schematics and as many different vintage units as they could. Based on their findings and the feedback of the ARP team, Korg has created what they believe to be as close to an original 2600 as possible.
Recognizing the needs of modern musicians, Korg has added a number of useful updates. These include MIDI and MIDI-USB connectivity, balanced XLR outputs, an Arpeggiator/Sequencer, Aftertouch Output and more. Additionally, Korg has provided two different ARP filters to choose from for further sonic versatility.
The ARP 2600 re-issue from Korg is available in extremely limited numbers. Order your ARP 2600 before they’re gone.